Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Choosing to Live on Less

Ever dreamt about giving up your career, leading a laid-back life and spending more time with family and friends doing what you love? Often times, the pressure to succeed financially drives our decisions and our life seems to revolve around our bank account. This doesn’t need to be the case, as more Americans are finding out. Many well-educated, intelligent and connected individuals have made a conscious decision to make less, live well under their means and to focus on other aspects of life.

Find out now: How much do I need to save for retirement?

Changing Your Mindset 

With the stock market crash and housing bubble burst, many Americans turned to simpler living – because they had no other option. In the recovery, many have chosen to continue this path in order to re-build savings or prepare for future financial problems. This trend of downsizing has made shedding the shackles of consumer culture a bit easier. If thinking about how much you make in reference to how much you are pressured to spend in order to live “comfortably” within your means doesn’t quite add up, you may way to consider a new approach.

Spending exorbitant amounts of money to buy things you may not even have the time to enjoy because you have to work off payments for the luxuries you have been conditioned to want and need can get tiring. Find what really matters to you and pursue that any way possible, even if it doesn’t involve a big paycheck.

Changing Your Life

This lifestyle may not work for everyone. It is a big change from what most of us are used to. If you are looking to embrace this alternative mindset, then figure out how to apply this in real life. Move to a place with low overhead, find a job with flexible hours or something you are truly passionate about. Use your time how you best see fit to bring a sense of satisfaction that no purchase can stand up to. It is important to remember there is a fine line between consciously living on the cheap and having real economic hardship. Be sure to budget for however you choose to live.

The fast pace of modern life leaves many struggling to find a comfortable balance between work and personal lives. While a high-powered career can make you feel good about yourself, don’t let other aspects of life, like happiness, take a hit. “Having it all” may mean making less and finding happiness with what you already have or could attain for less.

Photo Credit: darippe

Liz Smith Liz Smith is a graduate of New York University and has been passionate about helping people make better financial decisions since her college days. Liz has been writing for SmartAsset for more than four years. Her areas of expertise include retirement, credit cards and savings. She also focuses on all money issues for millennials. Liz's articles have been featured across the web, including on AOL Finance, Business Insider and WNBC. The biggest personal finance mistake she sees people making: not contributing to retirement early in their careers.
Was this content helpful?
Thanks for your input!